Via Joel Sherman -
The doctor scheduled to perform the upcoming hip surgery on Alex Rodriguez declared the injury had zero to do with steroids, but everything to do with A-Rod’s impotent October.
In an exclusive interview with The Post, Dr. Bryan Kelly described a patient whose left hip muscles had “just shut down,” becoming so weak that A-Rod had trouble doing a simple leg raise during exams. And, after seeing medical imaging of the hip, Kelly stated he had “no doubt” Rodriguez’s humiliating playoff meltdown was caused by the injury.
“I was more surprised that he was able to play at all with a hip that looked like that,” Kelly said. “Most people would not be able to play with a hip function like this and the imaging that looked like his.”
Rodriguez was diagnosed with a torn labrum and underlying impingement in the hip in November, but the surgery will still not be performed for two to four more weeks. Kelly and his rehab partner, Pete Draovitch, want all the inflammation out of the joint and to rebuild strength in the surrounding muscles because doing so will, in Kelly’s opinion, greatly speed up the post-operative rehab.
Kelly, the co-director of the Center for Hip Pain and Preservation at the Hospital for Special Surgery, believes Rodriguez will return shortly after the All-Star break — roughly six months following the surgery — and perform at a level commensurate to his past production. However, he has concerns based on: 1) not truly knowing the full extent of damage to the joint until the surgery, 2) not knowing how surgery and rehab on the left hip will impact an already surgically repaired right hip and 3) A-Rod’s age (37).
“He is fully intending on getting back,” Kelly said. “He does not want to leave baseball like he did at the end of the season.”
Rodriguez underwent an MRI exam during the Division Series, but of his surgically repaired right hip. Kelly said understanding of hip injuries is still in its relative infancy — similar to where ACL knowledge was in the late-1970s — and because these injuries are “insidious,” coming over long periods of wear and tear without a traumatic separation or break, they are often easily undiagnosed or misdiagnosed.
In A-Rod’s case, Rodriguez was describing a lack of explosiveness rather than pain. The discomfort in other body parts came because he was putting a greater strain on those to compensate for the weakened left hip.
“I have done over 3,000 surgeries,” Kelly said, “and I have seen some [X-rays] where I say, ‘I’m not certain why [the patient] is having so much pain.’ I see others and say, ‘How were you able to play at all with a hip like this?’ His was more at that end of the spectrum.”
So, does this mean Alex will be as good as new when he returns with no excuses if he’s not?